1. Relating to, involving, or of the nature of synthesis.
2. Chemistry Produced by synthesis, especially not of natural origin.
a. Prepared or made artificially: synthetic leather.
b. Not natural or genuine; artificial or contrived: “counterfeit rhetoric that flourishes when passions are synthetic” (George F. Will).
4. Linguistics Relating to or being a language, such as Latin or Russian, that uses inflectional affixes to express syntactic relationships.
5. Logic & Philosophy Relating to or being a proposition that attributes to a subject a predicate not inherent in the subject, not following necessarily from logically true statements.
6. Of or relating to a financial instrument or investment that consists entirely of derivatives, especially swap contracts.
A synthetic chemical compound or material.
[Greek sunthetikos, skilled in putting together, component, from sunthetos, combined, from suntithenai, to put together; see SYNTHESIS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.